August 31, 2012 | | Comments 2
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Bringing diversity to the nursing workforce

This past month, the George Washington University School of Nursing (GW) received a three-year, $1 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to fund a program that aims to increase the diversity of nursing professionals, according to a press release from GW. The school’s Success in Nursing Education project focuses not only on drawing in African-American, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American students, but also male students and economically disadvantaged students from Washington, D.C., and rural Virginia. A report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in September 2010 showed that men made up less than 10% of employed RNs licensed between 2000 and 2008, while non-white or Hispanic nurses represented only 16.8% of all registered nurses in 2008. While those percentages may have grown in years since the HHS survey, it is unlikely that the gap has become significantly smaller.

The lack of ethnic minorities, males, and economically disadvantaged nursing students does not reflect the immense diversity of the patients these students will soon be treating. As an article in GW’s student newspaper The GW Hatchet cites the school of nursing’s Dean Jean Johnson as saying, “the nursing workforce should reflect what the population at large looks like.”

GW will use the grant to launch a recruitment campaign to reach disadvantage students, as well as students who are changing careers. The program will offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing, and will utilize retention tools such as mentoring programs. The grant will also create scholarships and financial aid for some students, according to the GW press release.

Has your organization made efforts to diversify its staff? What are your thoughts on the GW program? Leave a comment and let us know!

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About the Author: Katrina Gravel is an editor for the Education division of HCPro.

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  1. Yes, it is very important for the nursing population to represent to community it serves. What is more important than just getting the numbers up at GW is the need to create retention tools for the students. Success of the students is key during the clinical periods and didactic. Some struggle in different areas and sometimes it is a matter of having success coaches. GW needs to use the grant funds to expand nursing student retention efforts and reduce attrition.

    http://thebusinesswiseclinician.blogspot.com/

  2. Yes, it is very important for the nursing population to represent to community it serves. What is more important than just getting the numbers up at GW is the need to create retention tools for the students. Success of the students is key during the clinical periods and didactic. Some struggle in different areas and sometimes it is a matter of having success coaches. GW needs to use the grant funds to expand nursing student retention efforts and reduce attrition.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Business-Wise-Clinician/456814334353408

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